Theatre choir loses its voice after 37 years as numbers dwindle

MOZART Hall will sit silent on Wednesday nights after dwindling numbers forced one of Warrnambool’s oldest choir groups to fold. 

The Warrnambool Theatre Company Chorale sung their final chorus last month — but members insist they’ve gone out on a high note. 

The group, established 37 years ago, had little more than six active members left — barely enough to cover harmonies. 

President and long-time member Patricia McGennisken told The Standard it was a sad development. 

“We’d all be in our 60s,” she said. “Young people aren’t as interested and we’re an ageing group. 

“We’ve tried all sorts of avenues to get people on board. 

“We all felt really sad but our last concert was really good. Because we sing in parts you need more than six people to get the sounds.” 

Its final concert was in October last year but the all-women group had been a regular feature at the Allansford Christmas carols and other events. 

“It originally started after they did the Sound of Music as a theatre performance,” Ms McGennisken said. “They had such a good time that they said let’s keep singing. That was 37 years ago.” 

The chorale has occupied several halls in its long life but has called the Mozart Hall home for the past few years, gathering each Wednesday for rehearsal. 

Far from being a dying art, Ms McGennisken said more choirs around Warrnambool made finding members harder. 

The group had a farewell dinner last month. 

But Ms McGennisken said members would struggle to go quietly. 

“I think we’re all giving it up and looking at joining another choir,” she said. 

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